DETROIT -- Phil Mickelson says he would consider coming back here if enough fans signed a petition and committed to doing a random act of kindness.
On Thursday, after his first round at the Rocket Mortgage Classic, Mickelson said he wouldn't return to Detroit because of a story published this week by The Detroit News. The newspaper obtained federal court records from 2007 detailing how a Michigan-based bookie allegedly cheated Mickelson out of $500,000.
"People were awesome and they were so nice, so I would say this, I don't want it to be divisive," Mickelson said Friday. "I didn't like the way that felt with the reporter. The people here were so nice that I'll make a deal with them. There's a guy, Mike Sullivan, trying to raise 50,000 signatures. If he gets 50,000 and all of those 50,000 agree to do one random act of kindness for another member of the community, I'm in."
The petition had close to 5,000 signatures as of early Saturday morning.
Fans cheered for Mickelson as he stepped to the first tee. Mickelson's playing partner, Rickie Fowler, even egged on the crowd to cheer louder than they were.
"I just think that this tournament has sponsors, from Rocket Mortgage to a lot of local sponsors to a lot of the people in the community, that are trying to come together and do something good for the community," Mickelson said. "And if the members of the community will come together, I'd love to be back. But what I won't tolerate is that kind of divisive attitude from that particular reporter. It's just not helpful to anybody in any way."
Mickelson shot an even-par 72 on Friday and made the 3-under cut on the number.